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Letting Myself Love

Learning to Live Out Loud

By Calista Marchand-NazzaroPublished 3 months ago 5 min read
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Letting Myself Love
Photo by Zulian Firmansyah on Unsplash

I often feel that I deeply long for this thing that will brighten every day, lessen the loneliness after every crushing blow, and make me feel safe, comfortable, and secure in this world. I sit in this feeling and I daydream that maybe my person will show up any day now - that, in an instant, everything could change. The trajectory of my life, so uncertain now, could go hurtling in a completely different direction, right into a life I've secretly always wanted, but never let myself fully believe will take shape - in this universe, that is. While I'm secretly always on the look-out for love, you wouldn't know it. I believe in finding it organically - out in the wild, if you will. I hope this strategy works out for me and I like to think it will. Logically, it would make sense that if I do the things that I enjoy doing, spend time in the places that I enjoy being, and put my energy where my passion is, I will, in turn, meet people who share similar values, passions, and interests. I will find my people, so to speak. It doesn't seem like a stretch to believe that one of my people will be my person. Regardless of the outcome of this long game, by following my arrow, I will at least better be able to develop as a person and feel fulfilled and driven.

It saddens me to admit that it seems like such a wild and crazy idea to me sometimes that I could be in a romantic relationship at all, let alone a serious, happy, and healthy one. My life has been full of struggles, toxic relationships, and situations so stressful that they've affected my mind, body, and spirit more than I would like to admit. True love seems to have fallen into the category of things that happen in movies - things that are clearly wonderful, but seem like they might just exist for characters on the screen. Who even allows themselves time to acknowledge the possibility of these things? Who breaks themselves out of the mundane routine of just letting life happen to them and actually takes steps to live a life like that movie they love to watch? Maybe people do, but, to me right now, that seems like a rarity. Maybe I need to start treating life like it's my movie and make it a happy one, not a tragedy. Love is a powerful driving force and if I let myself fully feel, embrace, and express it, instead of locking it up and guarding it with all I have, maybe I will be more motivated to act in other areas of my life.

Even in the time when I was involved with someone, it always felt kind of like a dream, so foreign from my usual everyday life up to this point that I couldn't let myself fully understand or accept that it was real. I didn't admit my feelings to myself until they were pried out of me, barely even then. My feelings have always been something for me and me alone; they were not anything for sharing. In the past, even when I knew someone else felt the same way that I did, I didn't know what to do with that information. I think it's because I didn't want to risk the real thing turning out worse than how it was simply not knowing what could have happened. Too many times, I have opted for leaving doors shut and walking away with only the what-could-have-beens to keep me company. I'm not saying I regret it and I'm not saying I won't do it again - because, let's face it, I know myself and I'm sure I will. What I am saying is that I've gotten to a point where I'd like to start opening doors, sometimes slowly and sometimes flinging them wide open without hesitation. I've made a resolution for myself this year to live out loud and I truly want to.

Sharing feelings is hard and scary, but beautiful and probably always worth it, even if it crushes you. I've learned that many times over the years, and it gradually gets a little easier, but it's still hard and scary. I think it always will be. My feelings are a part of me and it's difficult to willingly put that part of myself out there and not know what will happen to it and how it will be received. Accepted or not, reciprocated or not, my feelings are my feelings. Knowing that makes sharing a little easier.

My shell has been extremely hard for me or anyone else to crack and I've found that it starts to regenerate when I don't actively try to keep it open. I have the tendency to close myself off from everyone and to live in my head. While I do love spending time with myself, I often have to remind myself that connections and community are a part of this existence too and they are worth the hassle. I can enjoy my own company and the company of others. I can find a balance.

Playing a part in this battle to embrace love are my deeply-ingrained tendencies toward indecision and overthinking. I try incredibly hard to think of all the possibilities before I proceed, which can greatly lessen the blow of disappointment, but it can also completely prevent action. If I don't see a very high likelihood of things working out in a favorable way for the long run, I might just decide it's not worth starting to begin with. Essentially, I write people and things off entirely before I even open the door. Yes, this is smart in a way and avoids a lot of heartbreak, but I am sure it also led to my missing out on a lot of happy moments, opportunities, and experiences.

Instead of letting my rapid-fire thoughts interfere with my experiencing life's wonders, I would like to move forward using them to my advantage. It's like that Buddhist teaching about the vase. Imagine you have a beautiful vase that you love dearly. Now, imagine every possible thing that could happen to that vase - all the ways in which it could break. Accept that it could happen at any second and think of the vase as already broken. In your mind, the vase is already broken, but you enjoy it anyway. When it does actually break, just like you knew it would eventually, you are not surprised in the least, and you are thankful for all the time you got to spend enjoying it. Perhaps this is the way I should be approaching life and love. My heart is my vase and it's already broken so I might as well enjoy the love while I can. Relationships will end, but that shouldn't prevent me from starting them in the first place. I don't need to sabotage everything before I even give it a chance to be worthwhile.

In the spirit of being bold, taking decisive action, and living out loud, I think I will publish this. It terrifies me to share such deep thoughts, but even in the event that anyone (especially anyone I know out in the world) reads this, that will just mean that they know me better - the real me - and that's a good thing. Something I hope to get more comfortable with is letting people get to know my authentic, unfiltered, not-trimmed-down self. After all, love, in essence, is rooted in knowing someone deep down to their soul and always wanting to know them more.

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About the Creator

Calista Marchand-Nazzaro

Always learning and always evolving. I’m a creative, an idea person, a thinker, a dreamer, and working on being a doer. Many interests. Varied content. Food. Sustainability. Comedy. Poetry. Music.

Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

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  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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